8. The Mechanism of Merit & Sin

The Mechanism of Merit & Sin

Based on the lecture of
The Most Venerable Phrathepyanmongkol
(Sermchai Jayamanggalo),


Abbot of Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram, Rajaburi Province, Thailand,

Compiled on 20 September 2016 by Pittaya Wong


According to Buddhist teaching, one earns merit when doing wholesome deeds.  These wholesome deeds will bear fruits as good karmic consequences, both in the present and the future.  On the contrary, if one commits unwholesome deeds, one will earn sin which will cause bad karmic consequences, both in the present and the future lifetimes as well.  The accumulation of merit or the pursuit of virtues perfection, when completed, will lead to one’s enlightenment.

With Dhammakaya Meditation, we discovered the systematic mechanism on how merit and sin work in relationship with the law of karma.  Thus, Dhammakaya Meditation enables us to explain this phenomena better.

The insight and intuition power of Dhammakaya allow us to see the merit and sin as ‘energy’ which makes the functioning of karma system possible.  When one commits a wholesome deed, either mentally, verbally, or physically, The Wholesome Nurturer will take such deed for further processing.  The Wholesome Nurturer is the transcendental body who dwells inside the super-refinement level of each of one’s 18 bodies. [According to Dhammakaya Meditation, an individual primarily has 18 bodies which are the physical body and the other 17 transcendental bodies within, namely (1) the human body (2) the refined human body (3) the celestial body (4) the refined celestial body (5) Rupa Brahma body (6) refined Rupa Brahma body (7) Arupa Brahma body (8) refined Arupa Brahma body (9) Gotrabhu Dhamma body (Dhammakaya) (10) refined Gotrabhu Dhammakaya (11) Sotapanna Dhammakaya (12) refined Sotapanna Dhammakaya (13) Sagadagami Dhammakaya (14) refined Sagadagami Dhammakaya (15) Anagami Dhammakaya (16) refined Anagami Dhammakaya (17) Arahat Dhammakaya and (18) refined Arahat Dhammakaya].

The Wholesome Nurturer does his work when one commits wholesome deeds either mentally, verbally, or physically, by processing the deeds and passing it on to The Inserter Body, The Deliverer Body, The Commander Body, The Controller Body, and The Governor Bodies, respectively.  This is like the working of the government officials or an organization where an issue is processed step by step and from the lower level to the superior level of commandment for consideration.  The Governor Bodies can also be classified into many levels, ranging from The Governor of one’s body to the Governor of nations, the planet, the universe, the certain area of Dhatu-Dhamma (elemental nature), until reaching The Governor of  Wholesome Dhatu-Dhamma Machine, and finally, the Chief of Wholesome Dhatu-Dhamma (Ton Dhat Ton Dham), whereas all of the aforesaid are ‘transcendental.’

Once one’s wholesome deed reaches the Wholesome Dhatu-Dhamma Machine and the Chief of Dhatu-Dhamma, the Chief and the Machine will process the wholesome deed and generate the karmic consequence programs (when running this program, it will come true physically in the present or future), merit energy, and the virtues or wholesomeness which can be mainly divided into discipline (sila), concentration (samadhi), and wisdom (panna), and return all of these to the human body, passing through various levels, from top to bottom, until reaching one’s 17 transcendental bodies and the very end station which is the physical human body.  Normally, this process goes on very quickly, and it takes less than 1 second to complete.  Thereafter, the Wholesome Nurturer will do his duty by operating the returned merit energy, karmic consequence programs, the virtues, and the wholesomeness within the human body.  The merit energy earned will be stored in the merit sphere of human body, and The Wholesome Nurturer will nurture the human body with virtues and wholesome power as well as running the karmic consequence programs further. 

However, when one commits unwholesome deeds either mentally, verbally, or physically, The Unwholesome Nurturer will do the same function and process.  Thus, one earns sin energy, defilement, and bad karmic consequence programs to be stored and operated in the human body.

This means that, within each of our 18 bodies, there are both The Wholesome Nurturer and The Unwholesome Nurturer who do their duties and operation within our bodies at the transcendental level.

If one always commits wholesome deeds, The Wholesome Nurturer will gain strength with more and more merit energy earned.  This can be compared to a person who always exercises.  His body will gain strength as he exercises more and more regularly.  Likewise, if an individual commits unwholesome deeds more and more, such individual will be overwhelmed with unwholesomeness, defilements, and sinfulness.  The merit and sin play their roles along the system of karma like this.  Finally, the merit side or The Wholesome Dhatu-Dhamma (wholesome elemental nature) is successful by fulfilling merit energy into an individual until he can attain enlightenment to become a Buddha, a Silent-Buddha, or a Noble Disciple, whereas The Unwholesome Dhatu-Dhamma (unwholesome elemental nature) is successful in its work by fulfilling sin energy into an individual until he is drawn to deeper hell realms for punishment and become a sinful disadvantaged creature.